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STEM sheBOOMers yesterday and today

Here are just a couple of fun facts about women from history who were/are way ahead of their time — engaging in professions that involved science, tech, math, and engineering (where females are still under-represented).

Florence Nightingale: Social Activist Turned Applied Statistician

Though Nightingale is best remembered for her work in activism and social reform, she is also noted for being the mother of applied statistics. Working as a nurse for the British Army in the 19th century, she was both perturbed and intrigued by the number of patients dying under her and her fleet of nurses’ care. Using complex and innovative numerical graphs and insights, she was able to statistically demonstrate the need for change in Britain’s nursing modality. Before Nightingale, statistics were only analyzed and implemented directly by men. Big thanks to Florence for making data analysis a cornerstone development for ladies and gents alike!

Katherine Johnson: The ‘Computer in a Skirt’

Before having the world at our fingertips in the form of smart phones and laptops, scientific progress and technological innovation was all done through a lot of mental oomph from scientists like Katherine Johnson. Known affectionately as a ‘Computer in a Skirt,’ Johnson successfully led many of the most famous space launches in recent history (Think Apollo 11, Project Mercury, and a few missions to Mars for fun), while also being at the forefront of many of NASA’s modern efforts. Hidden Figures, a film about Johnson and her posse of she power’s race to space, is out in theaters in early 2017.

Minshew, McCreery, and Cavoulacos: The Muse Squad

The Muse, an online community where young, professional women can go to seek job advice and map out their career goals, is surprisingly only a recent business venture. Founders Kathryn Minshew, Melissa McCreery, and Alexandra Cavoulacos saw an issue with this –particularly in the digital age– and now run a fully functioning online business, serving clients such as Facebook, Pinterest, and AT&T, while also raising $10 million from an exclusively female-led venture in 2015 alone. The sky’s not even the limit for these three!

Know any other female founders that make the grade and are pioneers in your industry or sector? Tell us more and comment below or email our editorial team